Sara Hankins, the terminally ill mother of four whose best friend promised to adopt her children, passed away on Monday at the age of 36 after a battle with ALS.
According to Hankins’ online obituary, she was surrounded by family and friends at her home in Milan, Ill., at the time of her death. She was described as a “beautiful amazing woman.”
“She enjoyed being a cosmetologist and sharing stories while making people beautiful,” her family wrote in her obituary. “She loved cooking and spending time with her family and friends. Above all else, being a mother was the most important thing to Sara.”
Hankins’ best friend Missy Armstrong will adopt her four children, Alexis, 18, Cayden, 11, Micah, 9, and Amara, 8.
As Hankins entered the final stages of her battle with the neurodegenerative disease, she constantly worried about her children’s future.
“The thought of where they would go was killing her more than the ALS was,” Armstrong, told PEOPLE. “It consumed her everyday thoughts, because none of her family members were able to take in all four kids together. I decided to step in.”
The 42-year-old added, “I knew in my heart this was the right thing to do, that this was how it was meant to be.”
Armstrong raised over $22,000 to put a down-payment on a five bedroom home for the kids.
[H/T Twitter /